Today you are one year old. Someday all traces of this past year of infancy will be gone, giving way to the man you are to become. Before Time steals the memories, I want to record a few thoughts for you to read later on.
While I had always thought “family” in the back of my mind regarding my future, I was not a young girl whose only dream was babies. I had a good theology on children, and the blessing they are, and I was ready to embrace any God chose to send my way, but I had never even bothered to try imagining what motherhood would be like.
When I discovered that you were a baby, growing in my womb, my first feelings were (frankly) fear and panic of having a baby inside of me that would and must come out! My second thought? Total awe. I began thinking back to when you were conceived — I was busy decorating Christmas cookies and wrapping gifts to give and preparing to celebrate my first Christmas as a Dunphey. I never had any thought of a baby. And what amazed me was that God knew. While I was busy grocery shopping and cleaning, God was carefully planning your arrival. How amazing and wonderful that was to me! How Divine a gift did your life seem to me!
Even while pregnant, and even as you grew and began to move inside of me, I still couldn’t fully comprehend what this mothering thing would be like. I tried to be as excited as everyone seemed to indicate I ought to be, but, well, I’d never been a mom! I had no idea what to expect!
Oh, my dear sweet son, but when you were delivered, I was overcome, completely overwhelmed, with love for you. When your screaming, writhing little body entered the world; when you were laid on my chest, clearly a boy-child; when you were swaddled and capped and snuggled in my arms that first night, my heart ached with the swelling of love for you.
Since that first night, we have shared 356 days and nights. I can count on one hand (probably 3 fingers!) how many hours we’ve been apart. You’ve been my little buddy, my dear companion, my sweet babe. I would never have thought, previous to September 15, 2006, that I would find the ability to be “on call” every hour of every day — and would love every moment of it. For truly, you have been a joy. I savor the memories of even the first challenges — when I was too exhausted to think, when your fussing increased and my attempts to soothe were futile, when you decided bedtime should be 3 am — those were fleeting days off newness, and they were precious. Then came months of discovery — of toys and games, of spitting and johnny-jump-ups, of first smiles and first laughs, first scooches and first sitting. I wonder how many hours I’ve spent just watching you this past year? Many. Many, many.
Now you are one. You are sitting and crawling, and you could stand with a bit of courage — of that, I’m sure. You are saying, “Hi,” into your play phone and reading books to yourself, and giving kisses. And, yes, there are moments of training as you learn boundaries and discover that you, too, have a will that must yield. You are showing signs of a delightful, friendly, and loving little boy who is leaving babyhood behind.
And this new stage, as every one previous, has captured my heart. Your little hands, chubby feet, bluest of eyes and softest of curls have all been memorized a thousand times over. You, Jameson, are so loved by your mama.
I’m not sure I’m ready for this one year old thing, but I’ve reminded myself since the first bits of newborn were left behind: you were born to be a man. You have destiny and purpose on your life that we have yet to fully discover — and discover we will! Behind are days of snuggles and softness; ahead are years of learning of a heavenly Father’s love for you and His design for your days. Surely we can say the best is yet to come!
I’ve never had a son before. I hope you’ll excuse my fumbling and stumbling, and yes, even the imperfection of my human love. My prayer is that in my best efforts and in my worst failings — that in both, you’ll see the depths of the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
I love you, Ryan Jameson. I’m so glad that the Lord is letting me be your mama.